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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: June 2, 2003 (Senate)]
[Page S7186]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr02jn03-134]                         

[[Page S7186]]
 
                     BLITZKRIEG ON FREEDOM IN BURMA

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, this weekend's violent repression of 
democracy activists in Burma underscores the illegitimacy and brutality 
of the State Peace and Development Council, SPDC, and its political 
arm, the Union Solidarity Development Association, USDA.
  Although reports are still coming in from the field, Burmese 
democracy activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and supporters of the National 
League for Democracy, NLD, were attacked on Saturday by armed agents of 
the junta in Yaway Oo, some 400 miles north of Rangoon. Four people 
were reported killed, and scores injured and arrested--including Suu 
Kyi and other members of the NLD.
  Given the SPDC's total disregard for the human rights and dignity of 
the people of Burma, I expect the death toll and number of arrests 
relating to this incident to rise over the next few days and weeks.
  Between the attack and the closure of NLD offices and universities, 
the SPDC has launched a blitzkrieg on freedom in Burma.
  My immediate concern is for the welfare of all NLD members and their 
supporters, and for safety and security of Suu Kyi. The world must know 
for certain that Suu Kyi is alive and well. It is absolutely essential 
that U.N. Special Envoy Tan Sri Razali Ismail meet with Suu Kyi and 
other imprisoned activists should he travel to Burma later this week.
  The international community must meet this brutal assault not with 
diplomatic niceties, but with forceful condemnation and concrete 
sanctions against the thugs in Rangoon.
  In response to Suu Kyi's arrest and the murder of Burmese democracy 
activists, the administration should immediately--right now--expand the 
visa ban against the SPDC to include past and present leadership of 
both the Council and the USDA. SPDC and USDA assets should be 
identified in the United States and frozen right now.
  To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is time to draw the sword for 
freedom and cast away the scabbard.
  Mr. President, I am going to continue to closely follow developments 
in Burma. I will have more to say on this matter tomorrow and later in 
the week.

                          ____________________





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